Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dinner in a Pumpkin

So it's the last day of November and we still have a couple of pumpkins hanging around the house.


Dinner in a Pumpkin
(a harvest casserole recipe straight from the early '60s)

One 10-12" pumpkin, top removed and cleaned (save the seeds!)
2 lbs. very lean ground beef
6 oz. ground ham
2 1/2 t. salt (I think less, especially since the ham adds salt)
3 T. chopped onion (I used about a half cup shallots instead)
1 green pepper, chopped
2 t. oregano
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 c. green onions (aka scallions), chopped
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 c. raisins (you could also use currants or Craisins)
1 t. pepper

In a large nonstick skillet, fry the ground beef until no pink remains. Add all other ingredients except pumpkin and eggs, and cook together. Remove from heat, allow mixture to cool a bit (so the eggs don't cook immediately from the residual heat when they're added), then add eggs, mix gently and fill the pumpkin. Put the lid on the pumpkin and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serves -- uh -- many, because c'mon, you just filled a whole pumpkin! If you really want a super '60s dinner, serve with a Jell-O mold and some canned green beans, heated, with butter and bacon bits.

ETA: If you require a little more zing than what this recipe suggests, Captain Midnight has discovered that curry powder is a nice addition.

Bonus Pumpkin Seeds
Clean the seeds well (no stringy stuff left!), cook them for 10 minutes in boiling salted water, drain them and dry them off a bit, spread in one layer on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and the spices of your choice, and roast about 10-15 minutes at 325 degrees. They don't need to get super brown. Devour with gusto.

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